State Representative Tracy Maxwell Heard (D-Columbus) has been in contact with staffers of Ohio Governor John R. Kasich and Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted’s offices, after discovering that emergency responders from Ohio may not be able to vote in this year’s general election as a result of their participation in emergency response and clean-up activities related to Hurricane Sandy’s devastation of the eastern seaboard.
“After scrambling to figure out if we could do anything for these first responders, I read that New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is allowing displaced residents to vote electronically via e-mail or fax. A New Jersey elections official promised to conduct his county’s election come hell or high water – well, hell and high water are here, and the brave men and women of Ohio have stepped forward to bail out the East Coast,” said Rep. Heard. “We, back home in Ohio, have to ensure that their sacrifice does not cost them their vote.”
Many of the first responders have not voted early, anticipating that they would be able to participate in early voting or traditional Election Day voting this year. When Hurricane Sandy hit on October 29, these men and women headed to the impacted areas. The nature of the clean up will most likely keep first responders out of the state until after November 6.
Rep. Heard is hopeful that Gov. Kasich and Secretary Husted will be able to work with her to accommodate the precarious situation that some voting Ohioans face due to this natural disaster.